Even vegans have a good time

Forget the sacrifices: vegetarians enjoy lots of physical pleasure. Just like those who eat meat

A chocolate and coconut cake made with natural yea

A chocolate and coconut cake made with natural yeast, one of the many vegan expressions that are capable of generating a healthy culinary pleasure (photo by Cakewalk)


The relation between food and sex is rooted in the general mind-set, in the same way as the belief that culinary pleasure is strictly linked to the carnal (in Italian carne means meat) satisfaction given by biting a juicy beef fillet (better if rare). In Western culture, marked by the mind-body dualism, sex is seen as a pure, material and primordial instinct. The similitude between the juiciness of a tagliata and physical pleasure is immediate and expected. However, this doesn't mean it is universally shared, nor the only possible one.

So one may think that the life of a vegan is full of sad sacrifices and constant self-punitive and anti-social privations that most of the time make him scarcely tolerated by friends, acquaintances and colleagues. He moves down the roads like a zombie, deprived of any hedonistic impulse, including sex. Personal experience and the work as a chef have led me to meet many people with the most varied food habits.

Surprisingly, I’ve seen cases of culinary and sexual greyness both among committed carnivores and strict vegans. The general attitude that causes this approach to life is that of a mental closure and a total inflexibility. It’s not an exclusive problem of vegans or omnivores, of religious people or football hooligans, it’s the result of some personal attitudes. This is why I want to speak of happy vegans (they are rare, after all even happiness in general is rare). They grasp and enjoy at its best all that life can give, including sex, of course.

The opening to new horizons of taste in the kitchen is reflected in the lovemaking habits. The pleasure of a (happy) vegan at the table has no structures, as he’s used to continuous experiments. He enjoys the colours, textures, contrasts, all the sensorial stimuli that awaken his body and prepare the mind to the worthy conclusion of a romantic dinner, or those that, with their fullness, are satisfactory by themselves.

Many ignore the potential of the mind as an erotic means. You can involve the mind so as to enjoy various levels, from the purely physical to the incorporeal one. The effect is that of a synergy, it is non-exclusive. Being a happy vegan can perhaps more easily open the door to this possibility because the fact you don’t go along with the primordial instinct of eating meat, favours other sensorial stimuli, which would otherwise be latent or under developed.

Is Lisa Simpson changing her mind?

Is Lisa Simpson changing her mind?

As for me, gastronomic pleasure has its representative in my mind, namely a cake made with mandarin, coconut and cocoa beans cut in pieces, in which the cream, when melting down, fills the mouth with an explosion of flavours. But also a vegetable lasagna, one that is perfectly warm and soft, or some pasta with beans or a perfumed, crispy and slightly burnt or soft pizza with vegetables, if properly done, are a pure delight.

This is how I prefer them, but when it comes to enjoyment, does knowing that they are also vegan make any difference? In the same way as discriminating on the basis of religious or sexual choices makes no sense, so even when it comes to the culinary ones, freedom is dutiful. Everyone develops, during his life, his own sense of taste and pleasure.



Healthy, natural and vegetarian cuisine


Daniela Cicioni

Vegan and rawist chef based in Como

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